From the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 229-239, 2001
Are the Apparitions of Medjugorje Real?
JAMES PAUL PANDARAKALAM
Department of Psychiatry
Soho House, 362 Soho Road
Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9QL, UK
6 Fountain Lane,
Barming, Maidstone, Kent ME16 9AR, UK
This article presents the history of six young healthy adults experiencing an apparition on a daily basis over a prolonged period. The medical tests suggest that there is objective and subjective or nonobjective visionary experience. There is partial and variable disconnection from the outside world at the time of apparitional experience, and sensations travel in a normal manner to the brain of the Medjugorje seers, but the findings of evoked auditory potential tests and screening tests show that the cerebral cortex does not perceive the transmission of the auditory and visual neuronal stimuli received from the immediate environment. Electro-oculographic recording confirms that their eyes are converging at the same point. There are both normal and altered physiological parameters. There is a cluster of synchronisms suggesting objectivity. Complementary psychological and parapsychological observations are presented. There is no evidence to suggest the probability of autohypnosis. The collective percipience, stronger motivation on the part of the apparition, quasiphysical features of the apparition, integration of the apprearer to the natural environment, utmost loyalty and obedience of the percipients to the agent, and controlled “psychokinetic-like” manifestations point toward a true apparition at Medjugorje. The voice phenomenon observed at the time of the Medjugorje apparitional experience is reported in other sites of Marian apparition and not in any other religious or paranormal phenomenon.
Fr. Rene Laurentin has investigated claims of apparitions for many year, including the Marian apparition of Medjugorje. Fr. Laurentin conducted two investigation of Medjugorje, the first going back to the mid 1980's. The second investigation included a larger team of experts in their fields. The second report only published in French was translated and published (in part) in an 06 book "Medjugorje Investigated." The findings from both investigations concluded that there was no deception of the visionaries and they were in fact experiencing some abnormal changes during the time of their apparitions.
Outside of the physical signs, the dancing sun, the supernatural occurrences with the Cross on Mt. Krizevac, the word “Mir” written in red across the sky, the miraculous healings, etc., the visionaries themselves are a sign, the most studied sign of the entire Medjugorje phenomenon. It is their testimony that they see the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ. This testimony has been challenged by countless individuals over the years, from the Bishop of Mostar, to Catholic theologians, to medical and scientific doctors of every specialty.
A very intriguing apparition sets the back drop to what will follow in the testing of the visionaries through the coming years—when science takes a close look at these six individuals to examine their experience. Many come with the expectation that their tests will disprove the testimony of the visionaries. Most interesting is how Our Lady, Herself, responds to the testing of Her chosen visionaries. And from Her response, we are given greater insight into God’s thoughts concerning the “debate” between science and faith.